According to stereogum.com last night Yo La Tengo performed in drag at their concert in Nashville to protest the state’s restrictive new drag law. When opening with their usual set, the band returned in drag to play the rest of the show where band member Ira Kaplan wore “makeup, a red dress, and a long black wig,” according to The Tennessean.
The band had no comment on the law during the show and said in the following statement, “What we did last night couldn’t have been clearer and requires no further comment.”
During the performance fans of Yo La Tengo took a pictures of the moment and shared them on Twitter.
Ira and James playing in drag yesterday in Tennessee, in response to the anti-drag bill that passed just some weeks ago.
Yo La Tengo for president, someone said at Yellowjackets, and I agree.
[Photo by Chris Conrad, via FB] pic.twitter.com/Za6LTr2Jie
— Ethel Baraona Pohl (@ethel_baraona) March 14, 2023
“Ira and James playing in drag yesterday in Tennessee, in response to the anti-drag bill that passed just some weeks ago. Yo La Tengo for president, someone said at Yellowjackets, and I agree.”
yo la tengo protesting anti-drag laws tonight in tennessee, courtesy @JohnQBoxler. pic.twitter.com/kB6IvqUeZX
— jesse jarnow (parody, i think?) (@bourgwick) March 14, 2023
“yo la tengo protesting anti-drag laws tonight in tennessee, courtesy @JohnQBoxler”
.According to pitchfork.com although the band didn’t mention the new legislation on stage, their act has become the latest in the music-world to acknowledge the ban. Music festival Bonnaroo made a statement in response to the ban.
“We will remain a sanctuary for those freedoms and Bonnaroovians will see no changes in programming or celebration of self-expression at the festival.” And later this week Hayley Williams, Jason Isbell, Julien Baker and more will perform at a benefit concert for Tennessee LGBTQIA+ organizations.
The bill is part of a series of legislation signed by Governor Bill Lee that has also issues a ban on gender-affirming care for minors. The law restricting drag prohibits “adult-oriented entertainment” to take place on public property, limiting it to age-restricted venues and specifically mentions “male and female impersonators.”
Photo Credit: Nathan Edge